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Aug 28, 2009 11:02 AM

Does Mariscos Chente have fresher seafood on certain days?


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  1. Well, I guess the day the goods arrive. They normally send someone down on a Tuesday and the seafood arrives by Thursday or Friday. This happens 2-3 times a month, and has been weekly during busier times. I've never had any off tasting seafood.The quality has been consistent, and I've been in there anywhere from 2-4 times a month since the weekend they opened in Mar Vista in January of 2009. I was there opening weekend . So, since July of 2008 when they were still in Inglewood waiting to reopen the Mar Vista spot, it's all been fresh and delectable.

    7 Replies
    1. re: streetgourmetla

      So the seafood comes from Baja/Mexico? Interesting, does it get inspected? Just curious.

      1. re: Burger Boy

        Comes from Mazatlan and passes legally through customs in Tijuana. Magdalena is licensed to transport the seafood.

        1. re: Burger Boy

          Magdalena drives to the border, crosses over, takes the bus to Mazatlan, buys the fish (and puts it in coolers, don't worry, this isn't a gross story), comes back to TJ, then passes the fish through customs and APHIS, and drives it back to the restaurant.

          I've been a dozen times on all days of the week and not had a single piece of food ever be less than totally, utterly pristine.

          I've had shrimp in high-end sushi restaurants that was of less quality than the stuff they get in from Mazatlan. If their restaurant ever fails they could run a land-office business schlepping the bounty of Sinaloa (by which I mean the fish and seafood and ONLY the fish and seafood) up here to LA and selling out of a storefront.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            All that and they charge how much?!

            No Entree over $20... Most under $15... It's why I love this board... it not only introduces me to places like MC... but celebrates their love of food and feeding people as much as I do...


            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Not questioning freshness, just was curious, that is very cool, very very cool. Thanks Das.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Wait...she goes on a 2000 mile round trip to Mazatlan, weekly, to bring back a week's worth of fish in coolers? That seems...highly impractical. You can't buy snook in Los Angeles?

                1. re: odub

                  No you can't fresh shrimp and fish from Mazatlan here in LA. She's been doing it for years and enjoys the trip. From Tijuana, it's 24 hours by bus, next day purchase and hang, third day she's back on the bus to TJ. Other Nayarit and Sinaloa places around town also source seafood from Sinaloa by various means, and from Baja. Magdalena and Sergio prefer the product from Sinaloa.

                  That's why Mariscos Puerto Esperanza uses striped bass, locally caught, because he can't get the Robalo here. Magdalena has a relative that drives the bus line she takes.

                  MC doesn't want anything that has been in a freezer for their cuisine. Lucky us!

          2. their seafood is fresh every day of the week. period.

            1 Reply
            1. Went for lunch today..was my 2nd trip. Basically just confirms all previous reports. Whole snook, shrimp diabla and the shrimp w/ tequila were very good. The shrimp with the sour cream/cheese sauce and the shrimp cucarachas weren't good.

              9 Replies
              1. re: 1newyorkguy

                fwiw, i believe ( and i think that dommy would agree with me) that you should try the shrimp and octopus coctel next.
                the only other places that i've had octopus this good are high-end sushi bars.

                also, i am a BIG fan of their mojarra frita (sp?)--deep fat fried whole, scored tilapia.

                1. re: 1newyorkguy

                  I didn't like their cucaracha either, but I haven't liked it anywhere, including Chinese places that do shell-on salt-and-pepper shrimp, so I think the problem is that I don't like the dish, not that they don't do it well.

                  I refuse to order a shrimp dish with sour cream and cheese. My stomach turns just thinking about it... so while that has been on my table... yyyyyyyyyyyyyeh, no.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    I recall really enjoying s and p shrimp in chinatown, probably was shell-less, though the memory is hazy from the msg.

                    And, yes that cheese dish is really wrong in the flavor and digestion departments.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      what kind of cheese do they use in that sour cream and cheese shrimp dish?

                      i am not a fan of coaitja cheese or another soft crumbly farmer's cheese.

                      1. re: kevin

                        What are the hours for this place? As a mom and pop shop, it doesn't have an official website that lists when they're open so I had to turn to other sources, like reviews, when the place is open.

                        But, this Sunday, when I drove all the way up there from OC, almost an hour drive, they were not open even though the LA Times review said they would be open when I got there. I waited awhile, but it was clear there was nobody coming in so I left.

                        To add insult to injury, they don't even have a sign what their hours are in the window. But, they do have the same LA Times review in said window that I used to look up when they would be open.

                        The strange thing is that review is only 6 months old, so I don't know if Sunday was just a fluke or if their hours are really different.

                          1. re: Servorg

                            11 something, around lunch time. According to the LA Times review, they were supposed to be open at 11 on Sundays.

                            If it had been a Monday, I would have called to make sure they were open. But, I figured that they would be open Sundays for lunch.

                            1. re: hobbess

                              just wanted to add:
                              there are three primary individuals that work to keep this place open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
                              they are assisted by a handful of other family members that don't necessarily live anywhere near the restaurant.
                              the amount of work that is going into this place by every person that works there is phenomenal.
                              the fact that they turn out such incredibly great food at such a low price is astonishing.

                          2. re: hobbess

                            this is a family operation.
                            if any member of the family gets sick, the place closes down.

                            not too long ago one of the family members got sick and had to go to the hospital. the other family members had to take her there. (they ended up taking her to a hospital in tia juana after the local hospital misdiagnosed her. the tj hospital got it right)

                            also, if business is slow at night, they will close early. the entire family works to try to keep the place open seven days a week. they are stretched. they have no backup.

                            i'm sorry for the inconvenience you experienced.
                            here is their phone number, it is best to call before going.

                            also, you should know, that they make get booked for a private party, so it always would be best to confirm before driving up.